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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Inter-Korean Working Talks Held

Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)

Panmunjom, July 17 (KCNA) -- Working talks between the DPRK Olympic Committee and the organizing committee of the south side for the 17th Asian Games was held at Panmunjom Thursday as regards the issue of participation of players group and cheerleading squad of the DPRK in the games.

At the talks the DPRK side clarified once again its decision to send its players group and cheerleading squad to the games slated to take place in Inchon and advanced reasonable proposals concerning the scope of the players group and the cheerleading squad, their travel by air and overland and necessary transport means, sports matches and cheering activities, issue of their safety, communications and news coverage by DPRK media persons, etc.

It warned that the south side's act of politicizing the dispatch of the cheerleading group, spreading wild rumor that it is 'a squad for political operation against the south' and it would create 'conflict in the south' may seriously affect their participation in the games.

The south side said it welcomed the DPRK's participation in the games, expressing the expectation that the current talks would be successfully held to settle all issues satisfactorily and smoothly.

It noted that the issues raised by the north side could be successfully solved in a positive manner through consultation at the talks as there was a precedent of the 14th Pusan Asian Games and the 22nd Taegu Universiad.

The south side which had responded to the proposal of the DPRK side at the morning talks as seen above made an abrupt U turn in the afternoon at the instruction of Chongwadae and took a challenging approach towards it.

The south side delayed 2 hours and 15 minutes the afternoon talks under the pretext of getting an instruction though it had been scheduled to resume at 2:00 p.m. After coming to the negotiating table so late, it made absurd assertions that 'it is necessary to follow international practice' and 'the scope of the delegation is too big', overturning all what it said at the morning talks.

It took issue with the scope of the cheerleading squad and the size of the national flag of the DPRK, talking about 'feelings in the south side' and claiming 'it is hard to ensure personal safety.' It went the lengths of disallowing even the big size not only of the national flag of the DPRK but also that of the Korean peninsula flag.

Afterwards, it went so mean as to talk about paying one's own expenses, after raising the issue of expenses for the players group and the cheerleading squad which the DPRK side has never mentioned.

When the DPRK side strongly accused the south side of behaving so ridiculously over the above-said issues, the south side remained tongue-tied and only repeated its unreasonable assertions, behaving more recklessly.

The DPRK side branded such attitude of the south side as a deliberate act to bring the working talks to a rupture and prevent the DPRK from taking part in the games. It clarified that if the south side insists on such defiant attitude, it will fundamentally reexamine its participation in the games and that the issue of its participation in the games would entirely depend on the attitude of the south side.

Consequently, the hard-won north-south working talks failed to reach any agreement and broke down without setting the date for the next round of the talks due to the south side's unreasonable attitude and provocations.

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